Reub's journey

14 February 2010

Nancy Drew

Cover illustration, 1930

When I was in my early teens I read all of the Nancy Drew books; the first in the series was "The Secret of the Old Clock," written in 1930, and revised several times before I first saw it in the 1960's. The heroine Nancy at age 16 was a marvel of ingenuity and courage. How I would love to have a copy of one of those old books now.

Recently I came upon this poem; I have since vowed to get myself a copy of Nancy Drew, any of the books from between 1930 and 1960 will do.

In the meantime I will just enjoy the poem.

Nancy Drew
by Ron Koertge

Merely pretty, she made up for it with vim.
And she got to say things like, "But gosh,
what if these plans should fall into the wrong
hands?" And it was pretty clear she didn't mean
plans for a party or a trip to the museum, but
something involving espionage or a Nazi or two.
In fact, the handsome exchange student turns
out to be a Fascist sympathizer. When he snatches
Nancy along with some blueprints, she knows he
has something more sinister in mind than kissing
with his mouth open.
Locked in the pantry of an abandoned farm house,
Nancy makes a radio out of a shoelace and a muffin.
Pretty soon the police show up, and everything's
hunky dory.
Nancy accepts their thanks, but she's subdued.
It's not like her to fall for a cad. Even as she plans
a short vacation to sort out her emotions she knows
there will be a suspicious waiter, a woman in a green
off the shoulder dress, and her very jittery husband.
Very well. But no more handsome boys like the last one:
the part in his hair that was sheer propulsion, that way
he had of lifting his eyes to hers over custard,
those feelings that made her not want to be brave
confident and daring, polite, sensitive and caring.

Cover illustration, 1959


  1. hey nancy drew! whose feet are in your header?

  2. Oh Kerry! You have picked something so close to my heart. I love mystery and Nancy Drew was one of the book I read growing up from the Library!

    I also read Victoria Holt, and Sherlock Holmes (which I own a rare collection).

    If you find extras, let me know, I would love to collect these, and may collect the Hardy boys for my son as well, one of his favorites.

    Thanks for joining my Muse Monday...

  3. I love those covers. Sadly, I never got into Nancy Drew as a kid.

  4. Poppy, those fabulous feet belong to a friendly 3 year-old I met while taking boring pictures of our "town plaza" for Friday Shoot Out.

  5. Kerry, I've had wonderful luck buying old Bobbsey Twin books from Amazon for Lucy. One of them even still had the old paper cover on it! Bet they'd have Nancy Drew oldies too! Good luck sleuthing!

  6. You can often find old Nancy Drew books (and Hardy Boys, for that matter) in antique stores. Look in the book section. In my area, $8 seems to be a good price for one of the revised ones between 1930ish and 1960. A first, unrevised, edition will obviously go for a lot more.


Talk to me.